Russian government labels WADA findings ‘groundless’

A spokesperson for Russian president Vladimir Putin believes accusations from the report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are “groundless”.

The report recommended the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspended All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) from competing amid allegations of widespread systemic cheating and cover-ups.

However, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has insisted that no evidence has been put forward so such accusations have no basis.

“The thing is that if accusations are being voiced, they should be supported by proof,” Peskov said.

“Until proof is presented, it is difficult to accept these accusations. They are quite groundless.”

UK Athletics chief Ed Warner backed calls for Russia to be banned from the sport and considered their denial of the findings “insulting”.

“I’m sure there are other options [than banning Russia] but it’s the one I’d choose,” he told Sky Sports.

“Russia needs to demonstrate it cares about clean sport, can deliver clean athletes and respects the integrity of athletic competition.

“If they had a modicum of shame they would withdraw themselves.

“I think it is insulting. There are athletes from all over world that have been cheated out of medals, hearing their national anthem on podium and maybe making finals.

“In many places, including Britain, losing lottery funding because they didn’t meet the necessary requirements as a result of Russian cheats.”